Foundry has released Modo 16.0, the latest version of its 3D modelling and rendering software.
The release – the first of two in the Modo 16 Series – adds a new Conditional Loop tool for smarter edge loop selection, and updates existing features throughout Modo’s 3D modelling toolsets.
Other changes include a new Wrap Effector; display of blend modes in Modo’s Shader Tree; background baking of procedural textures; and a new Conditional Commands system for automating repetitive tasks.
In addition, the NPR 2 kit, previously a $199 add-on, is now available to users with active licences for free.
Modo public roadmap now available: two updates scheduled for 2022
Modo 16.0 is one of two updates scheduled in 2022, Foundry having just switched from three to two releases per year.
According to the firm, “bigger blocks of development time” will translate into “a superior set of features [in each individual release] especially in terms of quality.”
In response to user calls for greater transparency about the Modo roadmap, Foundry has also published a provisional list of features in development for Modo 16.1, due out at the end of October.
Modelling: new Conditional Loop tools, new MeshOps, and updates to MeshFusion strips
As with most recent Modo releases, Modo 16.0 includes updates across all of the software’s 3D modelling toolsets: direct modelling, procedural modelling and real-time Boolean system MeshFusion.
Direct modelling changes include a new Conditional Loop tool, which makes it possible to select part of an edge loop rather than the entire loop, and updates to the Slice Effector tool, shown in this video.
In addition, Bridge, Edge Subdivide and the Ruler utility, previously only available in the direct modelling toolset, are now available as MeshOps for procedural modelling.
MeshFusion gets a new automated Variable Strip Width system. As well as providing greater control over the form of edge strips, the change should help avoid cases in which the mesh cannot be drawn.
Materials, shading and rendering: updates to the Shader Tree, background texture baking
Modo’s Shader Tree has also been updated, and now features columns displaying a layer’s blend mode and opacity, plus icons identifying the function of a group.
Workflow improvements include background baking of procedural textures via the Texture Cache system, and Auto Set Layers, which assigns effects to image maps within materials based on file names.
Aside from updates to Open Image Denoise, Intel’s open-source CPU-based render denoiser, which is integrated into Modo, there are no updates to either the mPath or legacy renderers this time round.
Rigging and animation: new Wrap Effector generates smoother deformations than Wrap Influence
Rigging changes include a new Wrap Effector, which Foundry describes as combining the functionality of wrap and lattice deformers, generating smoother results than the existing Wrap Influence deformer.
When exporting action-based animations from Modo, it is now possible to export actions in bulk.
Workflow: new Conditional Commands system for smarter task automation
Workflow changes include a Conditional Commands system to automate repetitive tasks more efficiently.
It enables users to call commands based on the current selection mode and number of compoents selected: for example, to automatically select the Vertex Bevel tool when entering vertex mode.
It is also now possible to set Modo to snap only to a single geometry type by [Alt]-clicking.
For pipeline integration, import of Rhino .3dm files has been updated, and now supports subdivision surfaces with edge creasing.
NPR 2 kit now free to users with active licences
Outside the software itself, the NPR 2 kit is now available free to users with active licences of Modo 16. The set of tools for non-photorealistic rendering, originally released in 2015, previously cost $199.
Pricing and availability
Modo 16.0 is available for 64-bit Windows 10+, RHEL/CentOS 7.6+ and Ubuntu 20.04 Linux, and macOS 10.15+. Subscriptions cost $68/month or $689/year, up $3/month or $30/year since the previous release.
Foundry stopped selling new perpetual licences of Modo last year, though maintenance contracts are still available for users with existing perpetual licences.
Read an overview of new features in Modo 16.0 on Foundry’s website
Read a full list of new features in Modo 16.0 in the online release notes
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